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5 London hotels with living walls and rooftop gardens.

by Laura on April 24, 2015

It’s no secret that there isn’t much room left in London. If you want to build something new, you’re better off going up than out.

It’s no different for gardens, which is why several hotels choose to have theirs on their walls and roofs. You might think of a garden as somewhere to relax with a G+T, but some hotels are more concerned about nurturing nature. Have a look at these London hotels with living walls and rooftop gardens…

The Rubens at the Palace

The large living wall at The Rubens at the Palace is difficult to miss.

Check rates at The Rubens at the Palace

rubens living wall

Covering 350 square metres, it has 10,000 herbaceous plants. It provides a fantastic wildlife habitat, with native species of plants and varieties that attract bees, butterflies and birds. It also helps to keep the hotel warm (or cool, depending on the season) and improves the air quality around the building.

The Athenaeum

The Rubens wall is the largest in London, but The Athenaeum was the first hotel to adopt the trend in 2009.

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The Athenaeum living wall (460x294)

They do have a record to claim for their own, as they have the world’s largest collection of Urticaccae (apparently a type of nettle). The location of this patch below the hotel’s Garden Room creates a humid microclimate for more exotic species. They also have lots of native species of plants and flowers.

The Rosewood

The Rosewood‘s living wall is located on the terrace of the Garden House Wing.

Check rates at Rosewood London

Rosewood London

In fact, the suite has two living walls, one on the east and one on the west side of the building, with the smaller one over the terrace. They were installed mainly for aesthetic reasons. Nevertheless, the 5 different plant species are bound to have an environmental impact too.

St Ermin’s

St Ermin’s focus their environmental efforts on one particular animal: bees.

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bee_hotel st ermins

They use their rooftop to keep their own bees, as well as encouraging wild bees to make their home in their “bee hotel”. More than 300,000 Buckfast bees are kept in the rooftop hives; their honey goes into the hotel’s recipes. On top of helping the environment, beekeeping is fun for the hotel’s staff too.

Ham Yard

One of the newer rooftop gardens is the one at Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel.

Check rates at the Ham Yard Hotel

ham yard roof terrace

The Roof Terrace is a great place for both plants and people. Guests can relax in the lounge on upholstered seating. Meanwhile, orange, apple and pear trees bear fruit and seasonal flowers create a wild garden. Herbs, vegetables and fruits grown on the rooftop go into the hotel restaurant’s daily specials.

There are more London hotels with wall and rooftop gardens not listed here. It might be something of a trend, but it’s one that’s certainly welcome if it will improve the environmental health of the city.

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Photo credits: The Rubens at the Palace, The Athenaeum, Rosewood London, St Ermin’s Hotel, Ham Yard Hotel.

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